When the ELD rule was published on December 16th, 2015, it dictated how to populate the Geo-Location entry for an operator. It states to use the operator’s actual latitude/longitude, to calculate direction (compass rose) and how many miles they are away from the nearest town with a population of 5,000 or greater. It is not uncommon to reference far away towns or even towns in other states. This is not an error; it is per the ELD ruling.
In the latter half of 2016, Zonar updated the location database (Geolocation) to meet the new ELD requirements. Below are examples of how to interpret the new records:
Example One: The operator's current latitude/longitude is at the city center of Greencastle, PA (Population 4,040), the operator changes their duty status and Zonar Logs records 10mi N. MD, Hagerstown (Pop. 39,662). Hagerstown, MD is the nearest town with a population of 5,000 or greater to Greencastle, PA. Though the location is in another state it is correct, the operator is 10 miles N of Hagerstown.
Example Two: The operator's current latitude/longitude is at the city center of Hixton, WI (Pop. 432), the operator changes their duty status and Zonar Logs records 31mi NNE WI Holmen (Pop. 9,423). Holmen is the closest town with a population of 5,000 or greater.
Example Three: An operators current latitude/longitude is at the intersection of Milton Way and Fife Way, the operator changes their duty status and Zonar Logs records 1mi NE WA Milton (Pop. 7,239). Milton is the correct location, as the operator is closer to Milton than Fife (Pop. 9,421). An operator might think it would be Fife because they don’t think Milton has that large of a population or maybe the address they are delivering to is actually Fife. The address is not a factor for this calculation, just the closest town with a population greater than 5,000 based on latitude/longitude.
For formal reference, below is the specific wording cited in the published mandate.
Geo-Location Conversions – December 16th, 2015 ELD Rule (Page 428/429 Section 4.4.2.):
- For each change in duty status, the ELD must convert automatically captured vehicle position in latitude/longitude coordinates into Geo-Location information, indicating approximate distance and direction to an identifiable location corresponding to the name of a nearby city, town, or village, with a State abbreviation.
- Geo-Location information must be derived from a database that contains all cities, towns, and villages with a population of 5,000 or greater and listed in ANSI INCITS 446-2008 (R2013) (incorporated by reference, see § 395.38).
- An ELD’s viewable outputs (such as printouts or display) must feature geo-location information as place names in text format.